City & Country: New way of living at SummerGlades

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SummerGlades, situated in the exclusive Perdana Lakeview West in Cyberjaya is the culmination of the vision of one man — Suntrack Development Sdn Bhd project director James Tan.

“I often see my friends’ children stuck at home with the computer and TV when they should be outdoors getting some fresh air and sunshine,” says Tan. “We feel that our concept is a new way of living where the parks are just next to the house. SummerGlades has 10 parks/gardens and six acres of wetlands for the whole family to enjoy.”

Some 40% of the 23-acre freehold development, or 9.5 acres, are predominantly wetlands and gardens while 34% or 8.08 acres are net land areas for the buildings. The remaining 26% or 6.02 acres comprise roads and other infrastructure.

A relatively new outfit set up in 2002, Suntrack Development has chalked up one commercial and three residential  projects. The site for SummerGlades — its largest and most significant residential development — was acquired in 2009 for RM23 million.The development features 137 units of 2-storey superlink houses with chalet designs. These are grouped into blocks of three or four. There are 76 corner lots, measuring 34ft by 80ft, and 61 intermediate units of 24ft by 80ft. The average built-up is 3,000 sq ft.

The intermediate units start from RM760,000 while the corner units are priced from RM930,000. Tan says the gross development value (GDV) of the project is RM115 million.

Some 98% of the units had been sold by Aug 16, about two months after its launch on June 19. SummerGlades is expected to be completed by 2012.

The units are designed to provide scenic views from the living room, dining room and master bedroom, says Tan. “They all have garden views. The development has a free form design so houses are not oriented in the same direction, allowing roads to curve, compared with traditional terraced houses where everything is in a straight line,” he adds.

The houses are fitted with double-sided woven siscillation insulation in the roof to reflect heat, an alarm system, auto gate and hot water piping.

Common areas, such as the parks within the guarded community, will be maintained, with fees collected from residents, expected to be about RM300 for intermediate units and RM350 for corner lots.

“The maintenance of the roads, drains, slopes, street lighting, open space and wetlands will be surrendered to the city council,” Tan says. “Refuse collection and street cleanliness are also provided by the council.”

Track recordSuntrack Development’s property development business began with some four acres of freehold land in Serdang, which Tan’s father, Sunny, had received as payment for construction work.

Sunny had established Suntrack Constructions Sdn Bhd in 2000 to take on construction jobs. Before that, he ran a construction equipment business.

When Tan returned from his studies in the UK with a civil engineering degree, he joined the family business for one year doing highway construction before he was given the Serdang land to develop the company’s first development called Puncak Mutiara.

The Puncak Mutiara project, launched in 2002 and completed in 2004, comprised 18 semi-detached houses, and were sold at prices starting from RM380,000. The semidees featured Balinese designs and had an average built-up of 2,400 sq ft. The units measured 40ft by 80ft and had four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a car porch that could fit two cars. The GDV was RM7 million and the project was sold out.

“At the time, the location was not prime but the design was what attracted buyers,” says Tan.

The developer’s second project, Puncak Mutiara Kajang, was in Bukit Kajang Baru. Completed in 2007, the development sits on eight acres of freehold land and comprises 92 terraced houses. The 20ft by 70ft houses have built-ups of about 2,500 sq ft for intermediate units and about 3,000 sq ft for corner units. The units were priced from RM300,000 when they were launched in 2005, and the project had a GDV of RM30 million.

“The project offered 2½-storey terraced houses, which were not common in the market at that time,” Tan says. “The houses have six rooms, and because Kajang is a traditional location families are much larger, so the houses were ideal for those with large families. On launch day, we hit 70% sales!”

Another attractive feature was the design that eliminated the wall between the living and dining areas, with the dry kitchen giving more space to homeowners.

Besides these residential projects, Tan also developed two commercial projects on leasehold land less than one kilometre apart from each other in Cheras, both along Jalan Alam Damai. The two projects — Damai 8 and Damai 23 — comprising 2-storey shophouses, were developed in 2007 and completed in 2009. The GDV was RM12 million and RM25 million respectively. Damai 8 was priced upwards of RM760,000 per unit, and Damai 23 from  RM1 million.

Damai 8 was built on a one-acre plot and comprised two rows of 2-storey shoplots that measured 22ft by 70ft, with a built-up of about 3,080 sq ft. The 14 units were sold in one day.

The front row faces the main road while the back row faces a future market, Tan says.

Damai 23, however, was another story altogether.

“Damai 23 was a long stretch of land (about three acres), so instead of building two rows of shops and having the back row with no value, because it had no main road frontage, we built one row of shops with longer units,” Tan explains. All units were taken up about two months after the launch.

The 23 units have a land area of 22ft by 125ft; the shops measure 80ft, with an extra 45ft of land at the back. Restaurants could build mobile kitchens at the back to allow more space for tables and chairs inside, making more room for customers.

Tan is on the lookout to acquire more land. He hopes to find a suitable site for a development to emulate SummerGlades’ home-in-the-park concept. “Five years ago, I planned for something like SummerGlades, so in the next five years I hope to develop something similar or bigger, but with our customers’ needs and wants in mind,” Tan says.

 
This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 820, Aug 23-29, 2010.